To clip or not to clip?
That is the question and everyone has an opinion. The pro-clippers suggest that the reason for wing clipping is for the bird’s own safety, so they do not hurt themselves by flying into fans or light fittings, or escape out of windows. The anti-clippers suggest that depriving a bird of its natural ability to fly may cause psychological and physical damage.
How to clip wings
Birds with clipped wings will become more reliant on their owner, which helps with taming and training. Clipping the wings is a painless process and, in fact, a temporary one because the flight feathers will grow back with each successive moult. The objective of wing clipping is to limit a bird's ability to generate upward lift but retain the ability to glide downward to prevent injury from a fall.
Talk to your vet first
We recommend that you visit your local vet for your first wing (and nail) clipping. They can demonstrate the proper techniques and provide you with everything you need to safely perform this routine maintenance on your own. The best way to clip is to leave two or three feathers at the base of the wing (close to the body) as opposed to the more common way of leaving a few feathers at the tip. The problem with leaving a few feathers at the tip is that quite often the bird can still fly.
Enough needs to be clipped to stop flight but to allow the bird to slowly flutter to the floor if they fall or are dropped. It is possible to clip the feather too short, resulting in bleeding, which can be difficult to stop. The wings will need to be clipped six to 10 weeks after a new moult, as the clipped feathers will regrow. Be careful.